3 suspects arrested for homophobic attack in Tel Aviv

After taking testimony from the three suspects, police stated that the suspects attacked the youth based on their sexual orientation.

By TZVI JOFFRE
March 3, 2019 22:48
3 minute read.
Memorial candles lit after 2009 shooting at the Bar Noar LGBT youth center.

candles commemorates LGBT center shooting 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Police arrested three Tel Aviv residents on suspicion of assault and mugging on the basis of homophobia outside a club in Tel Aviv on Friday, according to Haaretz.

According to police, the suspects attacked three LGBT youth. One of the youth was severely beaten in the jaw and his shoulder and nose were broken.

After taking testimony from the three suspects, police stated that the suspects attacked the youth based on their sexual orientation. The police emphasized that the investigation is ongoing and the background and circumstances are still being determined.

The three suspects from Jaffa are being investigated concerning armed robbery with violence, threats and property damage, according to Haaretz. The police also stated that they have evidence that a fourth suspect was involved and they are currently trying to locate him.

The attack took place outside a club in Tel Aviv at around 4:00 a.m. The suspects allegedly attacked three party-goers who left the club and stole one of their bags. Security from the club helped end the attack.

The police emphasized that the three victims were LGBT people and that this is a case of an attack, not a fight. The victims said that the attackers “had the upper hand.”

The suspects, however, claim that they were attacked based on racism. They said that they did not rob the alleged victims and one suspect claimed that he was attacked and injured by policemen, Haaretz reported.

Inbar Klein, the lawyer representing one of the suspects, claimed that this is a case of “a brawl which was apparently violent. The brawl was two-sided and both sides attacked and were attacked.”

Klein stated that there is a great difference between a brawl and mugging, “therefore the police cannot come and exaggerate.”

The three youth had come to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem. One of the victims described the attack to Ynet news, saying it was “like a lynch, there’s no other word.”


The victims were headed to their cars when the three suspects approached them. One victim said that they tried to walk away, but “suddenly, I felt a punch to the jaw.”

“One of my friends, who saw they were going to hit me again tried to defend me,” he said, but they received a hit to the head. At this point, they were surrounded by three or four people who beat them mercilessly. The victim said that one friend was beaten so badly that he left the attack with wounds all over his body. “I got out of the attack ‘lightly’ with internal bleeding,” he said.

Two of the attacked youth were members of the Jerusalem Open House, Eran Globus, Chairperson at the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance told Maariv. One of the teenagers needed medical treatment.

"To the leaders who are now loudly silent: wake up. Our lives are not free game! Three teens were attacked in the heart of Tel Aviv solely because of their identity and differences," Globus said. "Did you learn nothing from the murder of Shira Banki?"

Education Minister Naftali Bennet announced today that educational activities conducted by organizations from the LGBT community will take place in all schools which want them.

Party heads and Knesset candidates promised that they would not sit in a coalition which neglects the security of its citizens.

Idan Roll, a candidate in the Blue and White list, responded to the attack on Friday, saying “I call on the police to act with all its strength to bring the perpetrators to justice. We won’t agree the punching bag of Israeli society. I am shocked by this despicable act of violence.”

“Despite progress made on the subject, the LGBT community still doesn’t live securely, not even in the heart of Tel Aviv,” Roll said. “A report by the Nir Katz Center that was published last month shows that every 10 hours an LGBT-phobic attack is reported. Only about 3% of attacked people file a complaint to the police.”

“The meaning is clear: the legal authorities must increase enforcement, even in digital spaces, and gain the trust of the LGBT community who will not be silent,” Roll said.

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